Black Pepper and Lime Oven Fries Recipe

A healthy, simple and delicious alternative to deep-fried potatoes. These baked oven fries are finished with salt, pepper, a spritz of lime juice, and a dusting of Parmesan cheese.

Black Pepper and Lime Oven Fries

I'm kicking off the new year with these fantastic black pepper and lime oven fries. It is a recipe and flavor combination) inspired by a recent trip to New Zealand. But before we get too far into the food side of things I want to talk a bit about resolutions. Between marathon-length international flights and media-free evenings in a camper van I've had ample time to think about resolutions in the days leading up to the new year. The funny thing is, my resolutions don't seem to change drastically from year to year. A couple years back I wrote, "I look forward to 2005 being a year where; I see more of the world I live in through travel and photography, I spend more time with my sister, I make an effort to collaborate on projects with interesting, innovative individuals."

Thinking about this year, all of those resolutions still resonate. I'd like to focus my travel on experiencing more of the great cities of the world. On the photography front, I'd like to start work on a new long-term photo series (likely outside of the food space). And of course, spend more time with family.

I guess part of the lure of travel for me is being able to see places through fresh eyes, my brain switches into a different mode, my daily routine gets knocked off balance and I end up find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. One afternoon early in this recent trip to New Zealand I popped into an small produce shop in Auckland. Nothing much to get excited about, it was well stocked with Kiwi standards like kumara (New Zealand's sweet potato), peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, asparagus, avocado, etc. It wasn't until I got to the back of the shop that I found an elderly Chinese woman diligently peeling and then cutting broccoli stalks into thin, biased, coin-shaped slices. She had a huge metallic mixing bowl filled to the brim - at least five or six pounds of slices. I asked what she planned on doing with the them (she was visibly amused by my curiosity) and in broken English said she would use them in her stir-fries. Somehow, this idea had never dawned on me and now I can't wait to add them to some of my favorite wok-creations.

On the road back to the hotel from the produce shop I looked up to see a billboard marketing a brand of New Zealand potato chips. The seasoning for the chips was black pepper and lime. I made a note to do a batch of oven fries when I got back to San Francisco trying out the lime and black pepper combination - New Zealander's have all sorts of interesting herb and spice uses. They use sea vegetables and native ferns in an array of rubs, dips, and infusions. I brought a bunch home to play with (future post!)...

Happy New Year everyone. Here's to health and happiness all around. Thank you for your continued support for this site. While in theory the site started as a way for me to explore ideas and influences, your feed back and continued curiosity brings a component to the site I could have never imagined. Hope you enjoy the baked oven fries.

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Black Pepper and Lime Oven Fries

1 1/2 pounds small potatoes, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 lime
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375, oven racks in the middle.

In a medium bowl toss the potato wedges with the olive oil, a few big pinches of sea salt and five or six cranks of the pepper grinder. Arrange the potatoes cut side down on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, tossing the potatoes with a metal spatula half way through.

While the potatoes are baking, zest the lime and cut it into a few wedges.

When the potatoes are cooked through, remove them from the oven, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Add more salt and pepper to taste (don't skimp on the pepper!). Serve in a big shallow bowl, or on a platter, drizzled with lime juice and dusted with the lime zest and Parmesan.

Serves 4 - 6.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Those sound good, if I’d read this in time I’d have done them last night rather than some plain oven-baked fries (chips in the UK). We also have those black pepper and lime chips (crisps – this is getting confusing!) over here but hadn’t thought of translating that to actual potatoes.


The first time I made this recipe, the oven fries turned out soggy, although the seasoning was delicious. I made them again using 2 tablespoons of the olive oil instead of 3, putting the oven up to 400 degrees instead of 375, cooking them for 40 minutes (20 minutes on each side), and then putting them in the broiler for just a minute or two before adding the cheese and lime zest. This helped them to come out a little crispier and less greasy / soggy.


French fries with lime and Tabasco. Steve F stumbled onto that delicious way to eat fries over 25 years ago. I don’t think it’s been topped.

Lee W

Here is the recipe for the Broccoli Stems appetizer. Several people sent a request for it, so might as well post it.
Sweet & Sour Broccoli (stems)
(original recipe – see notes below)
1 pound broccoli stems
2 T. white vinegar
2 T. sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sesame oil
Peel the broccoli stems and cut into diagonal slices 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick. Combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a large jar. Add the broccoli and shake to coat well. Cover and refrigerate overnight, shaking occasionally, Drain and place the broccoli in a serving dish. Pour sesame oil over the broccoli and serve with toothpicks.
–San Francisco a la Carte, a Cookbook, by the Junior League of San Franciso, 1979
Notes from Carolyn: Don’t use the really HUGE stems – they’re almost too woody, I found. But normal grocery store broccoli worked just fine. And I think I added the sesame oil to the marinade because only the few pieces on the top of the bowl got any of the oil – and they had too much, the ones underneath not enough. So I started adding it to the marinade at some point. And, I think that after another day of marinating the broccoli pieces begin to turn kind of gray-ish, meaning they’re best eaten the next day if possible. Why they call for a glass jar I don’t know, except maybe plastic ware absorbs the sesame oil.

Carolyn T

These were fabulous! I served them with curry turkey burgers – perfect combination! And you are right, garlic aioli is a great dipping sauce for the fries.
Thanks for the recipe.


Another great flavor combination is lime and fresh thyme. It makes for great rice or roasted chicken. Season the whole chicken with kosher salt (no pepper since it gets bitter on contact with high heat), then sear in a heavy saute pan with your best olive oil. Stuff the chicken with a whole head of garlic cut in half, a bunch of fresh thyme sprigs, and a lime, cut in two. Roast at 350 degrees, basing with a little water and then pan juices about every fifteen minutes until done. Be sure not to over cook.

Happy New Year to you too!!
This sounds like something I’d really like to try-


Congratulations on the Food Blog Award!


Off topic here, but congratulations on the Food Blog Award!


Hope you have a good stay in NZ. Be astonish by the beautiful lavendar farms, the bare-footed community, the honey farms & so much more 🙂
I would usually bake chinese eggplants with a recipe similar to yours. Now I can be guilt free eating potatoes your-way , cheers ! 🙂


it is the pic of the year! congrats!


Considering these are just potatoes, they do look delicious!

Scott at Real Epicurean

I just made these for company! So easy and so fantastic! I can’t wait to post my own pictures of your recipe!


Those look really good! Yummy!


I have a lime tree in my backyard full of limes just waiting to be picked. So, this recipe caught my eye. The lime zest must add a lot of flavor, and the parmesan too! Thanks!

Susan Billie Taylor

i just tried this with the carrots and no cheese, it was a yummy sweet and sour combo.


Yay to New Zealand. My first trip over to your blog and my country gets a heads up. Cool.
And delicious looking fries too. Going to have to try the home version.


I am gonna try those but I have a question. Is sea salt any lower in the sodium content than regular salt? My roomie has had heart surgery and has to be on a low sodium diet. We do use other seasonings and are changing what is eaten around here. We are eating more veggies (no not given up meat).

Rose Marie

I have oven roasted new potatoes with shallots with lots of pepper and fleur de sel (or kosher salt) with success.
Tonight your recipe with sauce aioli is on the menu. Nice site!

Larry M. Bramble

These are so yummy….with endless possibilities. I made a similar dish with chipotle aioli..don’t forget the cilantro..thanks


Hi Heidi
I received my Food & Wine mag yesterday and was browsing when I came across the article about you….how fantistic!! You must be very proud. I love your site, keep up the good work and congratulations!!


They make these chips under the Mrs. Vickies name brand in the US. (I’m not sure if it’s nationwide or not, though.) They carry them in all the Quizno’s subs here in North Carolina. Mrs. Vickies Lime and Black Pepper chips. I bet your potatoes are much better, though!

Nathan Aaron

I like this recipe . But in my family we used to add to potatoes red onion.When potatoes are in oven put sliced onion a small bowl with lemon juice for 15 minutes, then add to baked potatoes.

home cook

Looks delicious! It sounds like you have your hands full with all those cookbooks, but I just have to recommend one more: Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion is an Australian staple and has just these sorts of recipes, beautifully photographed and organized by ingredient. My life would be very boring without it! Thanks for the posts.


I made these tonight without the cheese and the flavors were great. This is the second recipe that I’ve found on your sight that I’ve really enjoyed. Thank you.


I usually do the “oven fries” due to health reasons. But I get tired of the same old, same old. Now I have a new recipe, can’t wait to try it out. Thank you very much. Really enjoy your recipes.


Never would have thought of adding the cheese… I happen to have some limes around, I’ll be trying this one soon!


I used to collect cook books and recipes. Although not to the extent you have. I enjoy cooking and browsing cook books.
Nice site.
Bob Tyndall

Robert Tyndall

Great pic! The good thing is that the black pepper and lime combo has become really popular and commonplace in the States in the last year or so – check out any potato chip rack at natural food stores and supermarkets alike all over the city. There are other flavor combos you can learn from too! Sometimes great inspiration is overlooked at home. The French also follow the precept to actually use everything you have in your kitchen – try to find inspiration in every seemingly discardable green, stalk, snipping and scrap! Green living indeed!


It’s been almost 20 years since I visited New Zealand, and what I remember most from that trip are sheep (and the wool I brought home to knit), green (the color of the landscape for the entire length of the country during the month I was there), and the food. Kiwi fruit eaten with the skin on (I still do that!), lamb, rock lobster — I was taken by surprise at how fabulous the food was. Happy new year, and thanks for sharing your trip with us.


A very happy new year to you.Congratulations on keeping doing continuously good work.And for being so inspiring.


I seriously hope you enjoyed your NZ visit, as a Kiwi I understand the effect of marathon trans-pacific flights having arrived back in New Zealand from NYC via SF just a few days ago. It is refreshing too to hear a ‘foreign’ foodie perspective on food in NZ!
By the way, your oven fries look far better than the potato chips that inspired your post – the local black pepper and lime potato chips are seriously overseasoned and leave your lips tingling in pre-alergic reaction sort of way! I would love to know what they actually season them with! I would bet a bottle of good bubbly that it is not black pepper or lime!


The Chinese have forgotten more about vegetable preparation than we’ll ever know!
When preparing broccoli florets, I always run the peeler over the little stems to speed up the cooking of those stems, and often peel the main stem too and add the sliced main stem to the florets to cook. It looks pretty to have the pale green against the dark.

Curzon Tussaud

I did something similar with lemon and chilli flakes .. oven roasted! Yesterday for our barbie we grilled sweetcorn over coals and rubbed them with lemon wedges sprinkled with salt, black pepper and chilli powder. There is a picture I just put up on my blog
I love your picture, the colours are very striking, especially the green!!


Some years ago I bought a cookbook called “San Francisco Ala Carte.” One of the recipes contained within it is a great appetizer for marinated broccoli stems. I’ll never forget the look on the faces of our children (teenagers at that time) after tasting them, thinking what in the WORLD has Mom made now! It’s a simple marinade – mostly water and vinegar. Might have been rice wine vinegar. Very little else, but I’ve made it inumerable times and mostly people cannot figure out what it is – not the marinade – but the vegetable itself. Since the skin is peeled off, it’s kind of hard to discern. If you’re interested, I’ll go look up the recipe and give you the ingredients.

Carolyn T

H, this sounds superb. Nothing like a simple dish utilizing a scant few ingredients. You can make something esoteric and compicated, but a true cook knows how to keep it simple and flavorful.


this would be really good with sweet potatoes. I make a salad with roasted sweet potatoes, lime and cilantro, may have to switch out the cilantro for black pepper. Yum.


Wow. This is making me hungry. The first poster’s idea sounds really interesting too.


I should have added that these would likely be great with roasted garlic or cilantro aioli! -h


I will have to try this. Never had lime and potatoes but it sounds really intriguing.


Stir-fried broccoli stems are delicious. You can also shred them very thinly and make “coleslaw” from them.

Kiwi Carlisle

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